"The Frustrated Artist" by BlotoAngeles
"The artistic temperament is a difficult one to deal with...the things that make artists sensitive to beauty and truth are the same things that can make it difficult for them to get along with others. Let's face it: artists are not accountants. Many of them cannot handle their finances, much less their emotions. Of course there are exceptions, but the tortured, angst-filled, manic-depressive artist is a typical character that everyone recognizes in books, in film or in their personal lives."
-from "Pure Scum: The Left-Out, the Right-Brained and the Grace of God" by Mike Sares
This does not describe me. I do not have trouble getting along with others. Sure, I'm terrible at math, but I like money very much and I do my best to take care of it. I can be emotional, but no more than the average girl, I guess. Okay, fine, maybe my husband would disagree with that last one but I AM TRYING TO MAKE A POINT HERE.
When I first went to art school, I expected to meet lots of weird, artsy people. I was surprised to discover that my classmates and teachers are remarkably.........normal. They're quiet. Hardworking. Funny. Perceptive. Kind.
Exhibit A: my landscape painting class.
As for artists not being able to handle their finances, that's just silly. Most fine artists and illustrators work freelance, which requires both creativity and business sense. They need to know how to market themselves, run a website, contact galleries and agents, price their work, and manage an income that varies from month to month. Artists who can't handle money will eventually be forced to work as Subway "sandwich artists." (ba dum ching!)
The one generalization about artists that I would concede to is that they suffer from a sense of insecurity about their work - at least young artists do. They wonder if they're good enough. They feel continual guilt about not working harder. They constantly compare themselves to other artists. They wonder if they should just give up and go back to their cubicle job. I don't know if I've met a single classmate who couldn't identify with this.
But for the most part, I see this insecurity drive them to work harder. They bravely press on, not indulging depressive episodes with cigarettes or whining about how no one understands their vision. They just get out their sketch pads and keep drawing. Because that's what artists do.
What do you think? Have you known anyone who fit the "temperamental artist" stereotype? Do you wear a beret?